12/03/2004

Know Your Enemy

The New Republic has a remarkably forward-looking essay entitled "An Argument For A New Liberalism: A Fighting Faith" by editor Peter Beinhart. What makes it so remarkable is the passion and eloquence with which Mr. Beinhart points out how to begin righting the listing Democratic vessel: throwing overboard the likes of Michael Moore and MoveOn. On Moore, he writes:

For Moore, terrorism is an opiate whipped up by corporate bosses. In Dude, Where's My Country?, he says it plainly: "There is no terrorist threat." And he wonders, "Why has our government gone to such absurd lengths to convince us our lives are in danger?"

Moore views totalitarian Islam the way Wallace viewed communism: As a phantom, a ruse employed by the only enemies that matter, those on the right. Saudi extremists may have brought down the Twin Towers, but the real menace is the Carlyle Group.
I had to doublecheck my browser to make sure I wasn't at The National Review. Mr. Beinhart is no less pointed in his criticisms of MoveOn:
In the early days after September 11, MoveOn suggested that foreign aid might prove a better way to defeat terrorism than military action. But, in recent years, it seems to have largely lost interest in any agenda for fighting terrorism at all.

MoveOn sees threats to liberalism only on the right. And thus, it makes common cause with the most deeply illiberal elements on the international left. In its campaign against the Iraq war, MoveOn urged its supporters to participate in protests co-sponsored by International answer, a front for the World Workers Party, which has defended Saddam, Slobodan Milosevic, and Kim Jong Il.
The piece reaches it's finest point in a one-sentence criticism of the current Left that is, well, brilliant:
"The recognition that liberals face an external enemy more grave, and more illiberal, than George W. Bush should be the litmus test of a decent left."
With Bush not eleigible to run again in '08, the American Left has an opportunity to wrest control of its party away from the Cult of Hating Bush. The process of doing so will be painful, as Mr. Beinhart makes clear, but it is necessary. I hope that voices like his receive the attention that they deserve in the upcoming debate over the chairmanship of the DNC.

PowerLine's post on this issue is rather eloquent, and worth your time to read.